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ATMs to disburse new Currency Notes by early December as Recalibration of Machines needed: Finance Ministry

To cater to the requirement of rural areas, banks were advised to supply notes of smaller denominations (Rs 100 and less) as well as Rs 10 coins

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New Delhi, Nov 13, 2016: The Finance Ministry said on Saturday that the ATMs will be able to disburse new currency notes only by early December as recalibration of the machines requires both hardware and software modifications.

“Recalibration (requires both software and hardware changes) of ATMs is going on, which will be completed by end of this month or early December. Other denominations will then be disbursed by ATMs,” a statement from Finance Ministry said.

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“Presently only Rs 100 notes are being disbursed from the ATMs. Out of 2 lakh ATMs, about 1.2 lakh are operational,” it added.

Taking stock of the issuance of new currency notes to the public, Finance Ministry said that a total of over seven crore transactions have taken place in less than three days after the demonetisation was announced.

“A total of over 7 crore transactions have taken place from November 9 up to mid-day of November 12 (i.e. in the last two and a half days) for deposit, exchange of old notes and withdrawal from ATM and over the counter,” it said.

“Old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations amounting to about Rs 2 lakh crore have been deposited to banks,” it said.

Ministry of Finance along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Indian Banks Association (IBA) and a few major banks participated in the review meeting on Saturday to take stock of the cash availability, it said.

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“There is sufficient cash available with RBI and Banks. They were advised step up the supply of cash to the public,” the statement said.

The availability of cash and issuance of cash to bank branches and post offices on a daily basis is being constantly monitored and necessary rebalancing being done for more efficient allocation of banknotes of requisite denominations between different areas, it said.

To cater to the requirement of rural areas, banks were advised to supply notes of smaller denominations (Rs 100 and less) as well as Rs 10 coins, it added.

One of the primary objectives of cancellation of legal tender character of old series of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes was to check the menace of terror financing through counterfeit currency notes. The receipt of counterfeits currency notes is being monitored closely.

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RBI has been advised by the government to set up a special cell to monitor the receipt of fake currency notes and inform such instances to the Economic Offences Wing of the state police, enforcement agencies of the Central Government and also to the Ministry of Finance.

“The law enforcement agencies have also been advised to maintain close vigil over possible movement of fake currencies and take prompt action as and when such cases are detected by them as well as by RBI and banks,” it said. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?